When Tyrone Curruthers started his roadside coffee caravan and roastery in McLaren Vale in 2015, he didn’t imagine he’d be adding a cafe to the mix in such a short time. In just a few months he’s transformed his boutique roastery into a weekend-only brew bar, now serving coffee, bagels and bikes.
The tiny corrugated-iron shed sits right in the heart of wine country, but coffee is steadily gaining ground. “We have thousands of visitors to the region wanting to try and experience new things,” says Curruthers. “Coffee seemed a natural fit with the abundance of incredible food, wine and beer available here.”
Bean wholesale is still a top priority for Dal Mare, especially as the local roaster market increases, but “being able to interact directly with customers is invaluable,” says Curruthers. “Just because we think a coffee is incredibly interesting or unique on the cupping table doesn't mean customers will think so. We can see that immediately here.”
The ethos is simple: traceable beans and a good, honest roast. “We really want to ensure our coffee is as transparent and as ethical as possible without compromising quality,” says Curruthers, who can be found roasting in the space most days. “We want to roast coffee you'll want to drink every day and make sure it’s approachable to everyone, from someone who's just bought their first plunger right through to the keenest home barista.”
Choose from the Signature Small Batch, The Vale Blend (for milk coffees) or a selection of single origins. A small food menu features savoury and sweet bagels (including a vegan option) and snacks.
Take the day, and cycle your way around the Vale. Tyrone’s colourful collection is available for hire on weekends. “Whenever I visit somewhere new, the first thing I want to do is immerse myself in it – not just see it from afar but get amongst it ... touch it, smell it, hear it,” he says. “But McLaren Vale is big, so bikes are such an easy way to get amongst the vineyards and see a lot of the region at the same time.”